Docstoc for free legal documents
If you are looking to save money on the drafting of legal documents, you should checkout docstoc.com
Docstoc allows you to search and download thousands of legal, financial, real estate and related documents. Many of these documents are free.
There is a right way and wrong way to use legal documents you find on Docstoc. The wrong way is simply to copy a document you find and use it wholesale. This is a somewhat risky but defensible strategy if the document in question is from your state and deals with a minor matter. But for a vast majority of legal issues, it's reckless to just cut and paste a document you see on online. That would be like trying to transplant someone else's organs with the help of medical experts.
Docstoc can, however, help you save time and money when dealing with your lawyer. It is generally cheaper for you to have lawyers review documents than draft them in the first instance. Thus, the right way to use Docstoc is to use the documents that you download as a starting point for the legal advice you are seeking. Rather than paying your lawyer to draft contract language, have them focus on higher level tasks, such as evaluating whether a particular document could be amended to better fit your strategic goals.
A recent conversation I had with the owner of a web design firm provides a good example. His standard contract provides for flat fee payments. He doesn't have a version of his contract that sets forth hourly rates. His lawyer has expressed a willingness to draft such an agreement, but the web designer hasn't gotten around to it yet. A search for "web design contracts" on Docstoc revealed approximately a dozen different contracts. I suggested that the web designer review these contracts and find the contract language that seems to best address his issue--charging hourly rates. Given that this is likley to be a recurring issue for the design company, and that each contract is worth thousands of dollars, this is too important an issue to warrant the cut-and-paste approach. But the web designer and you can make the process of working with your lawyer more effective if you present sample language for your lawyer to review.